Public Policy and Social Research Program

Public Policy and Social Research Program

Studying the underlying causes of modern-day phenomena disrupting peace, from every possible angle

The Public Policy and Social Research Program delves into field research in the social sciences including public policy. Relations with other fields are through an interdisciplinary approach. Our objective is to nurture future leaders for domestic and international organizations, with training in flexible problem-solving based on analytic and planning skills.

Message from the Director

CLA.ISHIO Yoshihito・石生義人film.jpgProgram Director
Prof. ISHIO,

Equipping students with practical skills to solve problem from a global perspective

ICU's master's program in Public Policy and Social Research offers five areas of concentration. This program provides depth in each area of concentration as well as width in academic disciplines. Thus students may concentrate on one area while taking diverse courses from other concentration areas. For example, if a student's area of concentration is Peace Studies, the student may take not only core courses in Peace Studies, but also germane courses in Politics and International Studies. This flexibility allows students to explore different perspectives and approaches in regard to research topics. In addition, the program allows students to take courses from ICU's other master's programs such as Education and Psychology. Most courses in Public Policy and Social Research are taught in English. Faculty members represent diverse nationalities and academic disciplines. An overwhelming majority of the students in the master's program are international students. Thus students and faculty members create a global environment in which to discuss different ideas. This program will help students acquire in-depth knowledge and research skills needed in their chosen fields in order to succeed both professionally and/or academically. Consider pursuing a master's program in Public Policy and Social Research at ICU.

Voice of Faculty


I am a cultural anthropologist. My main geographical area of interest is Vietnam, though I have broader interests in mainland Southeast Asia and the United States. My theoretical interests include medical anthropology, ecological anthropology, violence, and inequality.
Graduate school education is a time when students must acquire more in-depth knowledge in their chosen field while simultaneously conducting a major research project related to their own interests. I believe that in doing this students must take the initiative and learn to think and work independently. In training my students in the classroom and for their theses, my goal is therefore to develop their analytical skills so they can learn to ask the proper questions to conduct their research and to establish the proper framework so they can acquire the knowledge they need.
The greatest advantage of the ICU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for students interested in such disciplines as sociology and anthropology is that it provides a unique setting for the acquisition of the knowledge and analytical skills needed to move on to a career in either academia, non-governmental organizations, or public service.

Voice of Student

Mr. Fernandez Fuentes, Daniel
Public Policy and Social Research Program / Peace Studies Rotary Peace Fellow

Analyzing conflict and its transformation for peacebuilding through new approaches

I am studying in Peace Studies program as Rotary Peace Fellow. My themes of research evolve around the nature and potential of conflict and its transformation. I am interested in what happens to individuals and communities when living and transcending conflict through transformative mediation and the evolution of nonviolent activism and bottom-up peacebuilding. Conflict is inherent and everyone, every group or community, every society has experienced it, and will experience it at some point. It is impossible to avoid it, by may be possible to transform the quality of conflict interaction itself, so that conflicts can actually strengthen both the parties themselves and the society they are part of. It is also of my interest how what could be called the emotional wisdom of nonviolent activism and conflict transformation could be included in a broad Peace Studies curriculum, where theory and practice, academia and fieldwork, would meet gearing towards a much more practical approach to the study and learning of social change and peacebuilding. It is remarkable, and I feel really grateful for, how my advisor prof. Chiba and ICU Rotary Peace Center Director Prof. Shani have encouraged me to follow this path of research, guiding me with academic rigor while allowing me the necessary freedom and trust to approach it creatively, valuing new approaches to acquire knowledge about Peace and Conflict transformation.